After facing significant public pushback, Alabama Power has canceled its proposed pump storage project on Chandler Mountain in St. Clair County.
Alabama Power made the announcement Thursday, saying it was no longer seeking a project license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
"Our guiding purpose is to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable power to the 1.5 million people and businesses that depend on us," Alabama Power said in a statement. "As we look to the future, we recognize that alternative resources as well as energy storage options will be key in meeting the ever-changing needs of our customers."
Alabama Power said it would continue to look for other options for alternative power sources and that it appreciated the public's feedback.
Residents in St. Clair and Etowah Counties have been fighting to save their homes and businesses from being flooded ever since the project, which would have built two lake reservoirs on the mountain with a series of five dams, was announced earlier this year. State Rep. Craig Lipscomb (R-Gadsden) also publicly opposed the project along with Alabama Public Service Commission president Twinkle Cavanaugh and Commissioner Chris "Chip" Beeker.
Fran Summerlin, who formed the group Save Chandler Mountain and led the charge against the project, said she was brought to tears when she heard it was canceled.
"I'm going to cry. I don't know what to say except for God is good. I just can't believe it. It's wonderful," Summerlin told 1819 News. "They began to understand how bad it looked to the public and that it really was a project that was not worthy of the amount of money that they were going to have to put into it. We just are so, so grateful that this has happened."
"It absolutely teaches me a lesson," she continued. "My father always told me that when something is wrong, you've got to speak out against it and so, we did that. We did what he always had done. Sometimes, David does beat Goliath. There has been a lot of prayer and a lot of work."
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